A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of interviewing the incredible Jude Valentin on our Instagram stories! We thought we'd share it here, just in case you missed it.
First up, introductions! Could you tell us a little bit about who you are, and what you do?
Hi! My name is Mermaid Queen Jude. I am a content creator and Twitch streamer. I am also a cat mom and unofficial Sailor Guardian. I make content on Instagram about body liberation, mental health, and queerness, and I stream a variety of games on Twitch.
Let’s talk internet communities. How did you find and build your community on Twitch?
Finding a community on Twitch was far easier than finding a community on other platforms. I find that Twitch is very community-based - between viewers, and streamers, and community members. But also the networking, and friends that I have made along the way.
Do you find that your community changes at all from platform to platform?
I find that my community does change from platform to platform but that’s because the platforms have different needs. So, Twitch is my fun place. Twitch is the place where you can come vibe, and chill, and Instagram is really the place where we have those kind of conversations that are necessary in order take up the space in the world that you deserve to take up. Twitter is for memes, but also for hard-hitting conversations. I find that there is crossover between the platforms but I do think that each of the platforms serves a different purpose for me, and for the community members that reside there.
Why is it important to moderate or curate the communities you build online?
I think curating and moderating your online space is the most important thing if you are of any marginalised identity. I, for example, am a Latinx queer fat femme, who is also disabled and so it is very important for me to moderate the spaces, not only to protect me, but to protect the other people in the space. I think that, on Twitch, you have a lot of moderation tools at your disposal to help do that. And I think the Mermaid Kingdom is a place that is very inclusive and is about empowering and uplifting voices that are typically left out. And in order to continue to do that work it involves a lot of introspection and understanding that sometimes you have to preserve the integrity of the space over your ego.
What piece of advice or wisdom would you offer to your 16-year-old self?
I think the one piece of advice that I would give to my 16-year-old self is to not be afraid to take up space. There are going to be people that are going to dim your light, and your shine, or try to. And you are much more than them. You are brighter than them.
What’s your favourite game to stream right now?
My favourite game to stream right now is Dead By Daylight, which is an asymmetrical horror game where you play as a killer against 4 survivors. And it’s just very fun and very meme-y and I love it because a lot of queer streamers also play it and so the community on Twitch specifically is just so fun.
Got any favourite streamers you would suggest folks check out?
I would suggest checking out Rainbow Arcade which is an LGBTQIA+ stream team on Twitch. Rainbow Arcade is very much about creating inclusive and safe spaces on the internet, especially on Twitch, and creating those spaces so that you can feel free to be yourself.
What’s been bringing you joy recently?
Something that’s been bringing me joy recently is doing this thing on my Twitch channel called Tarot Tuesdays where I read Tarot for my audience and it’s just been really fun to bring that witchy side of myself to Twitch - a platform that used to be mostly for gaming.
Thanks so much for joining us!
Just keep swimming. Sigue nadando. Bye!